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Music as a Global Resource: - International Council for Caring ...

Music as a Global Resource: - International Council for Caring ...


SECTION: Music for Mental and Physical Health COUNTRY: Brazil PROJECT: SONGS TO HELP SAY GOOD-BYE: MUSIC THERAPY IN PALLIATIVE CARE DESCRIPTION: In Brazil there is a lack of knowledge related to palliative care. Consequently, residents receive very poor assistance at the end of life. Founded in 2007, Casa do Cuidar Association addresses this need by providing education in palliative care to healthcare professionals, consultation to hospitals interested in developing palliative care assistance and palliative care services to patients who are suffering from a serious illness. Casa do Cuidar Association seeks to ensure quality of life for patients and families coping with a serious or life-threatening illness and help them manage end of life related symptoms within a holistic framework. To achieve this mission, the Association offers “Songs to Help Say Goodbye” – a specialized music therapy program for patients and families receiving palliative care services. Sessions typically occur once a week in a home-based setting. Supported and facilitated by a music therapist, patients and families compose and share songs that are meaningful for them in their process of anticipatory grief. This creative songwriting experience comforts patients and their families on all levels, including the physical, psychological, social, and spiritual. Physical – In spite of good pain management, patients can feel uncomfortable at the end of life. Music can assist in multiple ways such as facilitating breathing and helping patients to focus on images supported by music that soothes them. Psychological – Patients are immersed in a difficult journey, searching for meaning, ways of coping and inner strength. Songs can help patients cope with difficult moments, giving them words when they cannot find the words themselves. In cases where the patients struggles to express their feelings, music enters as a non-threatening way of reflecting about death and dying issues such as fears, unresolved situations, coping skills, and a need for hope. Social –When a patient loses his ability to communicate because of the progression of a disease, music enables the patient to stay connected to family and friends. Families also emphasize how music comforts and helps them to be present and connected to their loved ones, even after their death. Spiritual – Songs with religious messages can bring hope and support to patients and families during the transition from life to death. CURRENT STATUS: Casa do Cuidar Association is a not-for-profit organization that relies on private donations and volunteers for its funding. Since 2007, palliative care courses have been offered to health care professionals, including nurses, doctors, physical therapists, psychologists, nutritionists and music therapists, among others. “Songs to Help Say Goodbye” began in early 2010 and has since offered music therapy services to patients and their families. 82

RESEARCH AND EVALUATION: Casa do Cuidar Association currently evaluates its program through a questionnaire given to patients‟ families. All music therapy sessions are documented in the patient‟s file and are accessible to other healthcare professionals. ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: CONTACT INFORMATION: Organization: Casa do Cuidar Association Address: Rua Tabapuã, 649, cj 26 Itaim Bibi, São Paulo-SP, BRAZIL Phone: 55-11-30785202 Contact Person: Cristiane Ferraz Prade Email: 83

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